<img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3099/3213029181_0a4fdd514e_m.jpg" alt="Obamas Inaugural Parade Walk" align="left" />This is cool. That populist gesture was not spontaneous as many watchers might have thought, but the location for it was thoughtfully chosen to be symbolic on many levels.
The most obvious symbolism is the fact that the National Archives contains the Constitution, and Obama plans to make the rule of law the theme of his presidency.
But now it’s revealed that the idea has a larger backstory, one that not only echoes President Obama’s interests in honoring neighborhoods and communities, but connects him to JFK.
For this is the location of a once blighted scene that prompted President Kennedy to inquire “what’s wrong with Pennsylvania Avenue” after his own inaugural parads. Because of his notice and concern, Jacqueline Kennedy lobbied Senator Patrick Moynahan, who made it his pet cause, and a long urban renewal project began, resulting in the mixed use neighborhood that is now thriving.
But the writer of the Huffpo piece also notes another symbol Tuesday’s surprise walk held:
In a sense, the most powerful symbolic message might be if this President and his staff read their mail from well-intentioned and informed citizens, and then accept useful suggestions. We need that now.